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Design Your Own Life v2014-03-25

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Design Your Own Life v2014-03-25

  1. 1. Design your own life! ..some ideas & suggestions Pete Kellock v 2014-03-25
  2. 2. How I’ve spent the last 59 years...
  3. 3. Age 0 – 2 wks Age 2 wks – 10 yrs Age 17 – 20 (BSc) Age 10 – 17 Age 20 – 28 (MA +PhD) Age 28 – 34 (Engineer, CTO) Age 34 – now Singapore Where to go on holiday (best in May) Student working holidays... Age 20: 3 months in USA Age 22/23: 2 x 3 months in France
  4. 4. My Early Dreams Inventor? Composer? Explorer?
  5. 5. “Men wanted for hazardous journey. Small wages. Bitter cold. Long months of complete darkness. Constant danger. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in case of success.” Ernest Shackleton December 1913 ( ...but maybe apocryphal)
  6. 6. Patents
  7. 7. Music Composition
  8. 8. Travel
  9. 9. University • BSc, Physics / Maths ...and Computer Science, Music, Geology • MA (Hons), Music ...and International Relations Paying my way: • research assistant • freelance horn player • PhD in Electronic Music: – Science / Technology – Music Composition
  10. 10. PhD Years PhD in electronic music “Animation and Real-Time Control Techniques in Electronic Music: Theory, Development and Application in Two Tape Compositions” Rock band: Solaris
  11. 11. Glissboard
  12. 12. Steel Breeze
  13. 13. Earning a Living... ;------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ; PRR State 1. ; ; Only comes here if perf > stub. Monitors existing perf, waiting for an ; event to start recording on scratch perf. ;------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ; * Handle live events (eg start/stop) pr1 ld ix,prfpst ; Perf PST call getibev ; Get input event if any jr c,$20 ; Jump if no events ; ex de,hl ; Input event pointer to de ld hl,pr1tabj ; pr1 router table for jumps call hev_b1j ; Handle event (bank 1 jumps) ; call srecev? ; Should event cause recording to start? jr z,pr1_pr2 ; Jump if so ; * Handle performance events $20 call prun ; Performance runner call getpbev ; Get perf buffer event if any jr c,$40 ; Jump if none ; call prfcky ; Perf Ckey event handler (On/Off) call nz,hevdef ; If not Ckey event, use default event handler ; * Run all active procs + perf & handle bar/beat display $40 call run_m ; Call runner call chkbt ; If beat trans, update bar/beat & % memory jr pr1
  14. 14. Zyklus
  15. 15. Zyklus Band
  16. 16. Zyklus: some stuff I learnt the hard way • The music industry sucks  • Even when you think you’re market-driven... • Praise and Respect ≠ Viable Business – even if it’s from famous people • Don’t plan too much ...but a strong sense of purpose and direction is essential • Don’t be afraid to rip plans up ...which is why you shouldn’t spend long on them in the first place • Don’t start a business with anyone whose integrity you doubt • Be careful around blind optimists • Startup can be hell • Stay calm. Be nice. Forgive and move on.
  17. 17. 1989: came to Singapore 1989 to 1999 • NUS - ISS: Designing/managing/teaching short courses • KRDL: Research in digital media • Algorithmic music and sound: Rhythm Morpher, FlexEffex, etc • Video – MPEG7 etc
  18. 18. My Role in muvee • Lead inventor – Core idea (2 of us) – Patenting – deeply involved in most of muvee’s patents • Head of R&D team: 2000-2001 – Research directions – Product definition – Some architecting & coding • CEO: 2001 – 2006 – Setting direction, recruitment, leading team, marketing, product definition & aesthetics, business development, deal-making, financial control, cash-raising, corporate governance ...and lots more • CXO/“muveeMeister”: 2007-2010 (part time) – strategy, styles, decision-making, etc • Left muvee in Sept 2010.
  19. 19. How I’m spending my time at the moment... External: • Mentor to entrepreneurs: NUS, SMU, etc • Advisor to an incubator • Advisor/Assessor for National Arts Council • Voluntary work in Sri Lanka Personal Projects: • Writing music • Personal investment (equity analysis, etc) • Travel
  20. 20. muvee
  21. 21. muvee Unique software for Automatic Video Production – finished productions from raw video (or photos) in minutes or seconds … skills of a video pro in software – for everyone – kids to grannies – for almost anything: family events, kids, holidays, sports… (and pros use it too) – in hundreds of styles
  22. 22. Videos: - Intro to muvee - Demo muvees
  23. 23. What drove the innovation? Innovations often start from combining DRIVER(s) and ENABLER(s) DRIVER (eg a need)... • Raw video is BORING, but traditional editors are... – Too complex: steep learning curve – Too slow/tedious: hours or days – Dumb: they need knowledge of the “grammar of editing” to get good results &
  24. 24. ...cont: What drove the innovation? ENABLERS (Possibilities/Capabilities)... • Techniques for analysis/processing of video: • ...and music FACE DETECTION MOTION DETECTION Tempo = 93 TEMPO & BEAT DETECTION
  25. 25. Put Driver and Enabler together... Dec 1999 : Seed of the idea... “DIY MTV” Evolved to become Automatic Video Editing
  26. 26. The Three Big Questions Q1. Will people really want it? – And what *exactly* do they want - what particular set of features and controls? = “PRODUCT DEFINITION” Q2. Can we make it work well enough? – Productions that “look good” ... ie that have more emotional power than the raw video? Q3. Is anyone else out there doing it already? – If they are big, powerful and ahead of us, it’s probably GAME OVER
  27. 27. Q1: Will people really want it? ...and what *exactly* do they want? APPROACH: “Don’t worry be Crappy” --Guy Kawasaki = LEAN ie Talk to users -> MVP -> Demo it Above all, LISTEN VERY CAREFULLY! “Wow, this is awesome! You guys are geniuses!!”  MEANS NOTHING “Can I buy it now?”  GOOD! YOU’RE ON THE RIGHT TRACK...
  28. 28. Q2: Can we make it work well enough? APPROACH: eliminate feasibility risk with a Proof of Concept (PoC) First results in mid 2000. Good!
  29. 29. Architecture 31 Raw Video Video Description Music Description Video Data Music Data Music Finished muvee: a high-quality auto-edited video production Styles User Selects Constructor (Makes Edit Decisions) Renderer (Performs Editing on the video/audio data) Edit Decision List Video Analyzer Music Analyzer
  30. 30. Q3: Is anyone else doing it already? APPROACH: get out on the road & talk with people! • Meet potential competitors (also potential licensors!) ... • Attend tradeshows... By mid 2001, we were fairly sure we were out ahead of anyone else.
  31. 31. Sep 2001: muvee autoProducer v1.0 released! Launched online + Simultaneously: Licensed the engine Note the simplicity: basically just 3 steps. MVP!
  32. 32. Founding Team
  33. 33. What else did we do in the early days? Between 2000 & 2002, apart from the product itself... • Filing patents • Figuring out our “messaging” (how you tell the story) • ... and “brand identity” (though we didn’t call it that) • Website including sales • “Guerilla” PR • Raising VC investment • Basics: registering company, accounting, office setup... • Recruiting • ... and lots and lots of other things
  34. 34. muvee - Achievements Hasn’t made the founders or investors rich (yet?) but... • Has created a whole new category of SW: Automatic Video Editing • 100s of millions shipped, millions of users – Licensees have included: Sony, HP, Nokia, Nikon, LG... • Headline publicity • Many delighted customers • Substantial global mindshare, eg today (as of Mar 2014): – ~500k hits for “muvee” on Google – > 150k hits for “muvee” on YouTube • > $S50m revenue from overseas • > 500 man-years of employment created in SG • Excellent adventure!  • Huge learning experience • Strong & lasting friendships
  35. 35. muvee: Challenges • Hasn’t made any of us rich yet! – Appeared to be a quick win or die prospect, but that’s not how it has turned out. TAKEAWAY: prepare for the possibility of moderate success • Imho, has never unambiguously “crossed the chasm” ...and still not clear when/how that may happen • Specific problem: works like magic sometimes; other times not • Hard to sustain team excitement after so long
  36. 36. Product Evolution v1 v8 Q: Were we right to add features and make it more complicated?
  37. 37. muvee homepage 2014-03-24
  38. 38. Tips for entrepreneurs
  39. 39. Do you want to be an entrepreneur? Why? • Because it’s trendy? • Money? • Don’t like being told what to do? • To prove you have what it takes? • Accelerate career? • Status? • Respect? • Adventure? • Self-discovery / “Self-actualization”? • Contribution to the world?
  40. 40. Some things you can look forward to... • Worry as constant companion – Failure is common; success rare – If you fail, lots of people will be deeply disappointed • Tough decisions that some people will hate you for • Dealing with dumb mistakes (your own and by others) • 100-hour workweeks • Hundreds of boring things you never knew you had to do (but do!) • The feeling that you’re never doing enough • Cold sweats at 4am HEALTH WARNING: It’s hell sometimes!
  41. 41. 43
  42. 42. 44
  43. 43. “If you’re going though hell, keep going!” 45
  44. 44. 46
  45. 45. Becoming an entrepreneur: Why it’s worth doing anyway • Seeing what you’ve created take root and grow • Changing the world - even a little bit • Learning a million new things …OK, some of which you probably never wanted to know! • Proving the skeptics wrong • Finding new qualities in yourself • Having an adventure • Career advancement? • Money?
  46. 46. BTW... motivational posters? I can’t stand them.
  47. 47. 49 Let’s consider the salmon’s point of view...
  48. 48. The Business Plan “No battle plan survives contact with the enemy” --Helmuth von Moltke “No business plan survives contact with the market” If you’re going to write fiction, write a novel instead. Focus less on planning, more on discovering ...and identifying+testing assumptions
  49. 49. Product Definition Probably the single most important thing for most high tech ventures today. • Think in terms of the whole “User Journey” (more than just User Experience) and users’ emotional reactions – Obsess about simplicity. • Every feature incurs cost: is it justified? – Obsess about clear messaging • What misunderstandings will occur? – Work on aesthetics and “playful” aspects – what will make users smile? • Feature requests: keep a small database of requests and prioritize them ruthlessly. • Develop sophisticated instincts. Beware market research and focus groups. (But Usability Studies are often very valuable.) Why is Apple so successful? Strong on all fronts, but especially product definition (imho).
  50. 50. Media Relations (PR) • Free in most cases! (v. advertizing) • Make the story dramatic • Guerilla approach can work • …but later, get some media training • Don’t hire PR agencies on retainers
  51. 51. Some Comments on Leadership: • It’s a constant learning curve • Integrity / Honesty above all • Always demand more of yourself than others • Be generous with equity – A small part of a bigger pie is often worth more $ – …and nearly always tastes better! • Cultivate diversity of viewpoint and opinion… with a passion! – “If the only tool you know is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail” – “If we always agree, one of us is redundant” 54 • Balance consensus and forceful leadership • Be gentle where possible. Be tough when there’s no other way. • Think a lot about your team’s emotions • Harmony is essential. Discord may be the biggest startup killer. Too few people live in Harmony
  52. 52. Designing your life
  53. 53. Career: how I’ve approached it • Always quite “anti-career” ...especially in big organizations • Mostly just followed whatever I found fun / interesting / cool at the time – But often tried to “dig deep”: you need to stick at most things for years to achieve anything at all. • For me, work and job are totally different things – Many times what I’ve been paid for is not the work I cared most about. – Money not v important: most of the things I enjoy don’t cost much – ...and I usually find the status trap easy to resist • Periods of v. high work intensity – Got to grit your teeth sometimes • Some long breaks and extended phases without pay • Above all, try to put passion into everything you do – If can’t find passion for what you’re doing for more than a few months, CHANGE!
  54. 54. Your choices are wider than you think • Not just control of what job, but far more, including – What goals to seek in life – What principles to apply (eg Bret Victor: “Inventing on Principle”, etc...) • In the broad sweep of history (hundreds or thousands of years), we live in amazing times – A large part of humanity (including all in this room) have huge control over their own lives. In the past – and still for billions of people – this degree of choice is an impossible dream – So choose well! Don’t do stuff “by default”. • How to choose? – Keep thinking: pop a level or two at least every few days – Keep doing: navel-gazing doesn’t work
  55. 55. What makes an Entrepreneur? • Businessmen/women enter a commercial game and aim to win • Entrepreneurs try to redefine the game ...or create a whole new game ...even if the risks are far higher
  56. 56. So why not do this with the game of life? Your life doesn’t have to be about winning a game created by someone else. You can (at least to a degree) DECIDE THE LIFE-GAME YOU WANT TO PLAY In other words, design your own life.
  57. 57. Here’s a thought... Is winning for LOSERS?
  58. 58. And if you do win - what happens next?
  59. 59. If your primary goal is to win, chances are ...you will fight your way up ...till you reach a level where you cannot go any higher ...and get stuck there. And even if you reach the pinnacle, will you feel happy and fulfilled?
  60. 60. Design your own life – how? That’s up to you, but here are some ideas... Instead of aiming to win a pre-existing career game, you can... – Aim to discover and develop your own new games • Commit yourself to innovating in everything you do – make it a habit • Copy only rarely (eg to learn) – Aim to contribute to the world around you – Aim to support and “grow” the people interact with – Try to find at least one speciality that isn’t transient • Without this, software devp (and many other ICT careers) are hard – constant reboots!
  61. 61. ...cont: Designing your own life – Put your heart into whatever you do • Work till you drop - sometimes • Dig deep: select a few things and pursue them all the way ...even (especially!) when people think you’re crazy • But keep a sense of humor Laugh at yourself, your goals, your achievements, your failures. – Do a small number of things but do them very well – Aim to enjoy the journey ... and to make it fun & fulfilling for your fellow-travelers
  62. 62. Having Fun v. Achievement? Designing your own career takes more self-discipline than following the usual job/career path Why? For most of us, true happiness is more than just having a good time. • FULFILMENT is what counts most ...but fulfilment requires ACHIEVEMENT ...and achievement requires SELF-DISCIPLINE • Often a conflict between: – What I feel like doing right now – What I want to get done How do you manage this conflict?
  63. 63. Work-life: my model Wasting your Life Doing work you don’t enjoy in a job you don’t believe in (usually for money). Slogging Building towards some long-term / career goals, but the day to day work is tough or boring Goofing Off Having fun, but not building anything for the future In the Zone Doing something you love which also serves a long-term bigger purpose +ve FUTURE Achieving long-term goals “Sense of Purpose” -ve -ve +ve PRESENT In-the moment happiness A great place to be, but don’t expect to spend all your time here. “Travel light” and make time for this: eg great vacations, and even some “mini- retirements” Beware the addictive & half-hearted versions: eg hourly tweeting / facebook / IM / emailing Don’t dream of living here all the time: even if you achieve it, the dream will probably turn sour. Lots of people end up here. Main causes? Financial Commitments and Fear. Expect to spend some time here: worthwhile achievements always involve some slog. Go all- out during those times. But don’t live here all the time. If you always live in the future, you may never live at all.
  64. 64. Potential Career/Life Traps Everyone is different, so hard to generalize. But beware... • doing stuff “by default” • becoming dependent on high income – Worst version: hate job, feel insecure, earn a lot but spend it all (and some) • desire for status – eg fear that your friends are doing better Travel light and keep your options open. If you get in a career rut, take a deep breath and *jump* ...because playing safe is often the most dangerous strategy
  65. 65. DANGER! Large financial commitments are a major threat to your freedom. Beware the desire for STUFF and STATUS.
  66. 66. Final comments
  67. 67. “To achieve your goals in life.... ...help others achieve theirs.”
  68. 68. Thanks for Listening!
  69. 69. Some suggested viewing/ reading • Video: Bret Victor - “Inventing on Principle” • Website: sivers.org • Blog: Seth Godin • Book: Eric Ries - “The Lean Startup” – If you’re even thinking of doing a tech startup, get familiar with the lean startup movement before you do anything: the ideas of Steve Blank, Eric Ries, Yves Pigneur and others • Book: Tim Ferris - “The Four-Hour Workweek” – I don’t support some of his attitudes, but he has thought-provoking ideas and perspectives. One of the few business/self-improvement books that’s worth more than 5 minutes of your time.

Hinweis der Redaktion

  •  This is just my life. Not right for everyone!
  • Wanna know how to get rich? I can’t tell you! I’m not rich by many people’s standards. If that’s what matters to you, ask someone who is.But I do feel rich in 2 ways: - I’ve had a very lucky, happy life experiencing all sorts of aspects of this amazing world. - At this point in my life I don’t need more money, so I’m free to do things I care about ...write & study music, work with young entrepreneurs, travel the world, explore all kinds of interesting stuff.That’s partly because I live fairly modestly. - I don’t give a damn about stuff or status: expensive clothes, fancy car, big house, titles, power, etc. (If that’s what you’re seeking in life, you might want to think more deeply before chasing it – in most cases that set of goals turns out badly for people)I also never had much interest in following a career path: ...just did whatever seemed like fun at the time ...and when it stopped being fun for more than a couple of months, I did something elseBut in most things I’ve done I’ve gone for them with passion ...doing them to the very highest standard I can.Somehow seems to have worked out very well - When I was 20, I thought life after 40 looked mostly boring and sad - Now I’m almost 60 and life has never been so good: fun and fulfilling
  • Grew up in the north of ScotlandSpent 10 years in 2 Universities doing 3 degreesLeft at 28 & took job doing totally different stuffAt 34 left London and came to SG - largely new stuff again - I was about 40 when I found a way to weave a lot of it together
  • My heroes when I was a kid: - INVENTORS – eg Thomas Edison - Inventions include: light bulb, phonograph, movie camera, electric power distribution - COMPOSERS – eg Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: - Incredible natural gift. Started writing music at age 5. - Wrote hundreds of pieces of music before his death at 35 - Many are works of genius - EXPLORERS – eg Ernest Shackleton: - Trans Antarctic Expedition 1914-17: went badly wrong when ship locked in ice ...then one of the greatest tales of survival of all time ...and brought all his men home alive Amazing tale of leadership in the toughest conditions imaginableAs it turns out, a lot of my life revolved around these areas: ...technology innovation, writing music and traveling to remote places
  • Got about 20 granted patents around the world.
  • Screenshot: of Exozoologica, an electronic work I completed recently (in Apple Logic Studio)
  • Music control device I invented and built as part of my PhD
  • Analysis of one of the pieces of electronic music I created for my PhD.
  • First job: Arabic/English terminals and printersMicroprocessor-based systems: building systems from start to finish, including: - Circuit design - PCB layout - Human interface (phycisal + virtual) - Mechanical design: metalwork, etc - Assembly language coding
  • My first startup. - Totally new concept: an interactive sequencer - First used by Vangelis in front of an audience of 6000... before the software was finished! - Loved by some musicians: eg John Walters (ex Landscape) started the “Zyklus Band” which used three - Used by some famous people & bands: Manfred Mann, Alan Parsons, M/A/R/R/S, etc - But it was too expensive. We couldn’t sell enough to make it a successful business I led or was involved in every aspect: - Core concept and its evolution - HW + mechanical design (circuit/PCB/ metalwork/ even paint spec!) - SW design (wrote > 30k lines of assembly language) - Marketing and PR - Sales: to musicians and studios
  • In the KRDL labHappened in a brainstorming meeting: core concept.DRIVER + ENABLER: CS3882
  • Video Analysis: C++ on WindowsMusic Analysis: MatlabConstructor: Java on Unix
  • Important Qualities for Founding TeamsPassionate about the whole (ad)ventureGot gritGot the right skills (or else very fast learners)Know themselvesConfident - but *quietly* soRealistic. Not crazy optimists!You need to trust each other *deeply* (…and you’d better *like* each other too!)
  • SUCCESS IS RARE - and *bigtime* success is *very* rare! For every Google or Facebook, how many web startups trying – 10k? 100k?
  • How true!
  • How true.
  • Who is this?
  • By the way: his claim to fame came very late in life – in WW2, when he was in his 60s.His role in WW1 was pretty awful: First Lord of the Admiralty, largely responsible for the British military disaster at Gallipoli.
  • Biz plan: lots of templates available online.
  • Why might this be true?
  • Instead of aiming to win an existing game, create your own new game – ie innovate.Focus on: - Contributing to the world in whole new ways - Helping others achieve their dreams
  • Also important - Passion and tenacity in whatever you do - Try to do a few things very well: which also means avoiding the things you think are less important
  • What is success?“If you can meet with triumph and disasterAnd treat those two imposters just the same...”--Rudyard KiplingSuccess is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.
  • “I’ve come the conclusion that the secret to happiness is not to get personally involved in your own life”Keep laughing at this wonderful world... especially the little part of it which is you!

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